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Spring Panzanella Salad

Spring produce is here and so is this delightful take on a Panzanella salad. Use radishes or different varieties of baby spring turnips. Use any sharp cheese based on your preference, but we love it with this Blue Capri cheese. 

Spring Panzanella Salad 
1/2 of a Classic Sourdough Boule, sliced and cubed into large chunks
2 tbsp of olive oil for toasting the bread
1 bunches radishes with greens
1 bunch Hakurei turnips with greens
1 tbsp of olive oil for toasting the radishes and turnips
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 cup red wine or sherry vinegar
1 bunch of chives, chopped 
2 to 3 fresh scallions, greens only, sliced
1/4 cup blue cheese for crumbling
Handful of fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the radishes and turnips from the greens, leaving about 2 inches of the stems. Cut the stems and separate into a small bowl, and then halve the turnips or radishes. Lay the halved radishes or turnips on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the veggies are  starting to brown, then remove and let cool in a large bowl. On the same sheet, use a second sheet of parchment and lay the cut bread in cubes and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over top and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake in the oven until browning, about 10 minutes, tossing a few times in between.

Rinse the stems you set aside by filling the bowl with water and then draining. Heat a frying pan and add a small pad of butter. Cook the stems on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until just softening. Add to the bowl with the roasted radishes or turnips.

Chop the chives and green onions and set aside. Once the bread is ready, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. 

Toss all of the ingredients in the large bowl together with the olive oil, vinegar, and salt to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl and crumble the cheese over top. Scatter the salad with basil leaves and serve warm or at room temperature. If possible, enjoy this salad after 30 minutes or so. This allows the bread to soften and absorb the flavours. 

If you cannot access both radishes and turnips, use two bunches of either vegetable. The same is true for the chives and green onions. This recipe feeds about 4 people as a side and can be easily doubled.  

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